Where Does Boyd Gordon Fit?

With the summer coming to an end and training camp just over a month away, the Flyers have to begin to piece together the lineup they’ll be using next season. This means answering the question of where does Boyd Gordon fit in the lineup.

Boyd Gordon’s not a scorer, we know that. However, the Flyers line on why they signed him was to take penalty kill minutes off the hands of Claude Giroux. Given that, it’s safe to assume to assume that Gordon’s playing on the fourth line and seeing minimum minutes while not killing penalties.

 

Via Own the Puck

Via Own the Puck

 

Gordon is a far better shot suppressor than Chris VandeVelde. When it comes to defensive ability, Gordon’s a large improvement over VandeVelde, even if he gives up a bit of shot generation and scoring to do so.

 

Via Own the Puck

Via Own the Puck

 

With Dale Weise replacing Ryan White and Pierre-Edouard Bellemare returning, it’s likely these four players are vying for the three fourth line spots. So, Gordon would likely center Weise and one of Bellemare or VandeVelde on the fourth line.

 

Via Own the Puck

Via Own the Puck

 

The top six forwards are Giroux, Jake Voracek, Wayne Simmonds, Sean Couturier, Brayden Schenn, Michael Raffl. Nick Cousins, who must clear waivers, and Scott Laughton probably returningĀ on the third line and Jordan Weal vying for some sort of spot, it’s likely that Read is on the third line with Cousins and Laughton. Weal should hopefully clear waivers and provide a major scoring boost to the Phantoms.

 

In short, the Flyers fourth line with Gordon over Ryan White is significantly improved. Also, Gordon’s penalty kill ability means that the Flyers can hopefully deploy Giroux and Couturier in more offensive oriented minutes. This balance should hopefully keep Giroux fresh for the grind of an 82 game season and potential playoff run.

If Nick Cousins continues to fill the role of third line center, Scott Laughton transitions effective to wing and Matt Read finds himself an effective possession driving third line wing, a fourth line of PEB-Gordon-Weise would make the Flyers a very deep team. Also, if the Flyers want to dump a forward via trade, there is flexibility of which to do so.

For instance, should Nick Cousins or Scott Laughton be the piece dumped to get a team to take on Andrew MacDonald, so be it. If a trade opens up to bring in a top tier talent, the Flyers have flexible depth options with which to play with and move around. Of course, Weise and Read are both likely to fill expansion draft requirements at forward while Andrew MacDonald and/or Brandon Manning will fill the defender requirements next summer.

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